Portland International Jetport
|Portland International Jetport|
|IATA: PWM – ICAO: KPWM – FAA LID: PWM
|Owner||City of Portland|
|Elevation AMSL||76 ft / 23 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Portland International Jetport (IATA: PWM, ICAO: KPWM, FAA LID: PWM) is a public airport located two miles (3 km) west of the central business district of Portland, in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. It is owned by the city of Portland. A significant portion of the Jetport, including the main runway, is located in the neighboring city of South Portland.
This regional airport serves much of Maine and is the busiest airport in the state. In 2007, the airport handled a record 1.6 million passengers, up 17.0% from the previous year, and handled 1.7 million passengers in the years 2008-2011. In recent years, the Jetport has benefited from service by low-cost carriers such as AirTran Airways and JetBlue. A survey conducted in June 2011 found PWM to be the most affordable airport in the region, and the third most affordable in New England. In October 2011, PWM completed a $75 million renovation and expansion of its terminal to allow more airline service and more amenities for passengers.
Early years 
The airfield was founded in the late 1920s by Dr. Clifford “Kip” Strange, who needed space for his JN-4 "Jenny" Biplane. Known as Stroudwater Field, the airport received its first commercial service on August 1, 1931, when Boston-Maine Airways began a flight from Portland to Boston. Two years later, the city of Portland bought the airfield and changed its name to Portland-Westbrook Municipal Airport. "Westbrook" referred to the location of the last directional light before the airport in the nearby city of Westbrook.
The current airport started to take shape in the 1950s to '60s. Runway 11/29 was built in 1957 and lengthened to 6,800 feet (2,073 m) in 1966. The current terminal was opened in 1968, when jet service began.
1960s - 1970s 
Boston-Maine Airways had a monopoly on passenger air travel out of Portland, which would continue when the airline was renamed Northeast Airlines. Another airline emerged in 1962, when Atlantic Airways began service between the airport and Boston's Logan International Airport. This competition was short lived, however, as there is no other information about the airline other than one timetable. Northeast would be alone at the airport for another eight years, when, in 1970, another regional carrier, Aroostook Airways, began offering service between Presque Isle and Portland, with stops in Augusta and Bangor. Unfortunately, this airline too faded into obscurity, lasting until 1972.
1972 was a busy year for passenger airlines at the Portland International Jetport. It marked the end of Aroostook Airways, as well as the introduction of two new airlines. In 1972, Northeast Airlines was bought out by Delta Air Lines, who remain at the Jetport to this day. The airline started out slow in Portland, merely retaining the former Northeast Routes to Bangor, Boston, and New York. By 1979, Delta had expanded at the Jetport, adding Burlington, Vermont as well.
1980s - 1990s 
The 1980s and airline deregulation brought many changes to the Jetport. These changes began in 1981, when Air New England ceased operations and pulled out of the Jetport after 11 years. This departure was followed a year later by the arrival of Air Vermont, a regional carrier that served a route between Portland and Burlington until about 1983 or 1984, when it too went out of business.
In 1980, the passenger terminal was expanded to the east with the addition of two baggage carousels. The building was also expanded to the west by adding three second-level passenger jetways and a hold room.
One of the most important events during this period was the arrival of PEOPLExpress Airlines in 1983. The airline, the first low-cost carrier to operate out of the Jetport, was well known nationally for its rock-bottom prices. The airline operated a route between Portland and Newark that is still operated today by United Airlines who merged with the former Continental Airlines, which itself bought out PEOPLExpress in 1987.
In 1984, United Airlines, in its attempt to be the only airline to serve all 50 states, began operating out of Portland, originally flying the Portland and Burlington route that had been left behind by Air Vermont. This was merely the beginning of United's operations in Portland, as the airline still exists there today.
That same year, small regional carrier Ransome Airlines, doing business as Delta Connection, began a route between Portland and Boston. This route ended in 1986, when Ransome was bought by Pan Am and renamed Pan Am Express.
1986 also brought to the Jetport US Airways (then USAir), who began service from Portland to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Low-cost carrier Presidential Airways also began service from the Jetport in 1986, flying a route from Portland to Washington's Dulles International Airport. This would be short-lived, however, as Presidential Airways ceased operations by the end of the decade.
1987 saw the arrival of Continental Airlines, when the airline bought PEOPLExpress and took over their existing route system. It also saw the beginning of Business Express, a commuter airline offering service from Portland to Boston, New York-LaGuardia, and Presque Isle, originally independently, and then doing business as Delta Connection.
In 1995, a terminal building improvement project was undertaken to add two second-level boarding gates, as well as additional space for ticketing, operations, departure lounge, concessions, and an international customs facility.
In the wake of the September 11 attacks, many U.S. airlines began offering fewer flights. This furthered the airlines' shift from mainline jet aircraft to smaller regional jets or turboprops at PWM. In late 2002, American Eagle stopped flying to the Jetport.
In 2004, Runway 11/29 was lengthened to a total of 7,200 feet (2,195 m), to accommodate larger aircraft and to improve safety.
On September 1, 2005, Delta Air Lines ended mainline service to PWM. Despite the airline's strong history at Portland, serving the Jetport in the past with aircraft as large as the Boeing 727 and 757, Delta briefly downgraded flights subcontracting to smaller aircraft operated by Delta Connection on Bombardier CRJ series . In the late 2000s and continuing today, Delta has reinstated mainline service to Atlanta using McDonnell Douglas MD88 aircraft.
Some service began to return as the airline industry's economics improved in 2005 and 2006. The first step up came with the introduction of the low cost carrier Independence Air in 2005. On May 1, 2005, Independence added a daily flight to Washington Dulles on an Airbus A319, making them the first carrier to fly an Airbus out of Portland. Portland was one of the few markets that Independence Air consistently served with its A319s, and at the time of its bankruptcy Portland was rumored to be one of its few profitable destinations. FedEx Express also began using an Airbus A310 widebody jet on its cargo flights to Memphis later that year, although today the company still primarily uses a 757 or 727 for those flights.
After Independence Air went bankrupt, Portland was left without a low-cost carrier, causing fares to go up, and passenger numbers to once again decline. Capitalizing on the underserved market, JetBlue Airways began service to Portland on May 23, 2006, with four daily flights to New York-JFK aboard Airbus A320 and Embraer 190 jets. This made them the second-largest air carrier at the Jetport (in terms of available seats) nearly overnight. This addition of service inspired what is known as The Southwest Effect, where the addition of a large number of low cost seats in a market forces down the price of competing tickets.
On June 7, 2007, AirTran Airways began seasonal service to Baltimore-Washington, as well as to Orlando, Florida. This established AirTran as the second low-cost carrier in Portland, competing with JetBlue. This was the first time that Portland received regularly scheduled non-stop service to a Florida destination. AirTran serves the Jetport with Boeing 717 and 737 jets. At the same time as AirTran's arrival, JetBlue announced that it would be adding a fifth flight of its own to New York, further increasing the number of available low cost seats. On September 26, 2007 JetBlue also announced a daily direct flight to Orlando, using its Embraer 190 aircraft, beginning in January 2008. The year 2007 was a record high for Portland: the added service posted a 17% increase in passengers from the year before.
In 2008, Delta Air Lines resumed mainline service to Portland, with a daily flight to Atlanta on a McDonnell Douglas MD-88 jet. At the same time, a regional startup, New England Air Transport (NEAT) began intrastate air service, flying three times weekly to Aroostook County with a Piper Chieftain. This was the first intrastate service offered out of Portland in more than a decade. With these increases, 2008 also saw a number of losses of service, with air traffic in an overall decline as the airline industry scaled back due to the Great Recession.
At the onset of 2009, the Jetport saw the return of international service. Starlink Aviation announced the start of service between Portland and Halifax, Nova Scotia and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to begin in February of that year. In fall of 2009, PWM built an official plane spotting area on Aviation Boulevard in South Portland, allowing aircraft enthusiasts to observe flights arriving and departing. Prior to the 2001 terrorist attacks, plane spotters observed Jetport activity from Jetport Plaza Road and Jetport Access Road, but such activity was subsequently prohibited in the wake of the attacks due to security concerns. The official plane spotting area includes a sign depicting some of the passenger aircraft typically seen at the Jetport.
With the start of 2010, the Jetport saw a number of changes in service. Starlink Aviation ended its service linking Portland to Yarmouth and Halifax, Nova Scotia, citing the loss of a Canadian subsidy. Soon after Starlink ended their service, a Maine-based company, Twin Cities Air Service, began flying between Portland and Yarmouth on a semi-daily basis. This service began on March 15, 2010.
At the same time, Air Canada announced that it would be launching a number of new routes out of Toronto, including a flight to Portland. The twice-daily Portland-Toronto service began on May 17, 2010, operated by Air Georgian using Beechcraft 1900D aircraft.
US Airways also upgraded its aircraft for nonstop Charlotte flights in 2010 to the Airbus 319. Making it the only mainline route US Airways has to offer in and out of Portland.
The Jetport began construction on its expanded terminal as well as several infrastructure improvements. Major expansion of the airline terminal — which had already been expanded at least twice — took place throughout 2010 and 2011. The expanded terminal opened to the public on October 2, 2011. The $75 million project, designed by Gensler and built by Turner Construction, brought a number of changes, including improvements to the baggage claim, reconfiguration of the airport access road and terminal roads, and rehabilitation and expansion of the parking garage. The new terminal features a geothermal heating and cooling system — the largest of its kind in Maine — which is expected to reduce the Jetport's consumption of heating oil by up to 102,000 gallons per year. Expansion and improvements are also planned for the general aviation ramp, enlarging the cargo ramp and facilities, reconfiguring the alignment of taxiways, improving the airport's deicing facilities, and eventually lengthening Runway 18/36.
A survey conducted in June 2011 by travel web site Cheapflights found PWM to be an affordable airport in the region compared to(Manchester, Bangor, and Logan), and the third most affordable in New England (behind Bradley and T. F. Green).
Airlines and destinations 
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta, New York-LaGuardia|
|Delta Connection operated by Chautauqua Airlines||Detroit|
|Delta Connection operated by ExpressJet||Detroit, New York-LaGuardia|
|Delta Connection operated by GoJet Airlines||New York-LaGuardia|
|Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines||Detroit|
|Delta Connection operated by Shuttle America||New York-LaGuardia|
|JetBlue Airways||New York-JFK|
|United Express operated by ExpressJet||Chicago-O'Hare, Newark, Washington-Dulles|
|United Express operated by GoJet Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Washington-Dulles|
|United Express operated by Republic Airways||Washington-Dulles|
|United Express operated by Trans States Airlines||Cleveland, Washington-Dulles|
|US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin||Philadelphia|
|US Airways Express operated by Republic Airlines||Philadelphia, Washington-National|
Air cargo operators and destinations 
|FedEx Express||Burlington (VT), Memphis|
|FedEx Feeder operated by Wiggins Airways||Bangor, Manchester (NH), Presque Isle, Hartford|
Traffic and statistics 
|2||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||101,000||US Airways|
|3||New York (JFK), New York||99,000||JetBlue|
|5||New York (LaGuardia), New York||78,000||Delta|
|6||Newark, New Jersey||65,000||United|
|7||Washington (National), D.C.||59,000||US Airways|
|8||Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois||55,000||United|
|10||Washington (Dulles), D.C.||41,000||United|
Historical service 
Ground transportation 
The airport is accessible from I-95 (the Maine Turnpike) and I-295. The jetport provides ample parking space in multiple ground lots as well as two parking garages, with rates ranging from $10–$12 per day. A complimentary cell phone lot is available just outside the baggage claim area. METRO Bus and taxi service can be accessed from the ground transportation booth outside the baggage claim. A shuttle bus service called The Portland Explorer provides access to area hotels and to other local transportation, such as the Amtrak Downeaster train service, and Concord Coach Lines intercity bus service at the Portland Transportation Center.
Accidents and incidents 
- On July 11, 1944, at 4:45 PM, U.S. Army Lt. Phillip "Phee" Russell was attempting to land his Douglas A-26 Invader at PWM. For reasons that were never fully determined, Russell lost control of the plane and crashed into a trailer park in South Portland's Brick Hill neighborhood. 19 people were killed and 20 people were injured — mostly women and children — making it the worst aviation accident in Maine history. The Long Creek Air Tragedy Memorial was erected in 2010 to honor the victims of this accident.
- On July 17, 2010, at around 3:27 PM, an Aerostar Yak-52 with registration number N52MY — a two-person, single-engine aircraft — crashed near a South Portland shopping plaza, a few hundred feet from the Jetport.</ref> The plane had just taken off from the Jetport's main runway after making several touch-and-go landings and was apparently trying to return to the Jetport due to a mechanical problem. Both occupants of the plane were killed. There were no injuries on the ground. NTSB investigators say the plane's propeller was not turning at the time of impact. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.[dated info] The investigation was expected to take up to a year to complete. The owner and pilot of the plane, Mark Haskell, was an air traffic controller at PWM. The passenger in the plane, Thomas Casagrande, was a certified flight instructor and retired military test pilot who was conducting Haskell's recertification that day. The sign at the Jetport's plane spotting area is dedicated in memory of Haskell.
- The airport was the starting point of Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari's travels on September 11, 2001. The pair flew to Boston on board a USAirways commuter flight, where they boarded American Airlines Flight 11 and later hijacked it and crashed it into One World Trade Center. Their rental car was later taken from the Jetport. The reasons for the flight to Boston are unknown as Atta and al-Omari had to pass through security again on the itinerary at Boston Logan Airport prior to boarding the American Airlines flight.
- FAA Airport Master Record for PWM ( PDF), effective December 20, 2007
- Billings, Randy (July 11, 2009). "Cities, Trail Groups Stall Jetport Runway Expansion". The Forecaster (Portland, ME). Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- Portland International Jetport Airport Statistics
- "National Survey Finds Portland International Jetport is Region’s Most Affordable". Portland International Jetport. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- Turkel, Tux (September 30, 2011). "Wheels Up for Jetport's New Terminal". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- 2=Zekria, Björn (March 7, 2010). "Northeast Airlines - Boston-Maine Airways Central Vermont Airways". Airline Timetable Images. Retrieved March 8, 2010. More than one of
- "History". Portland International Jetport. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- Don, Henchel (March 7, 2010). Larsson, Björn; Zekria, David, eds. "Atlantic Airways". Airline Timetable Images. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- Don, Henchel (March 7, 2010). Larsson, Björn; Zekria, David, eds. "Aroostook Airways". Airline Timetable Images. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- Sloan, Perry A. (August 14, 2006). "Air New England". AirTimes. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- Delta and Northeast Airlines Routemaps and Timetables
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- Airport Master Plan for Portland International Jetport
- "US70186". Departed Flights. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
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- "Presidential Timetable 12/18/86". DC-9: Presidential Airways History, Fleet (B737 and BAe-146) and Memorabilia. Retrieved July 4, 2010.
- "American Eagle To End Portland, Maine Civil Aviation Forum". Airliners.net. August 24, 2004. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- "Independence Air / Portland Loads". FlyerTalk Forums. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- "Airport Statistics". City of Portland. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- Portland Jetport Airport Statistics
- Matuszewski, Kara (September 25, 2008). "New Air Service Connects Aroostook County And Southern Maine". WCSH.
- Quimby, Beth (August 20, 2011). "Jetport Spotters". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- Twin Cities Air Service
- Air Canada Announces Service to Seven US Cities - Portland Jetport
- "Executive Summary Report" (PDF) (Press release). Coffman Associates. 2007. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- Portland International Jetport Takes Flight
- Turkel, Tux (August 18, 2010). "Jetport Project Tapping Earth's Energy". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- Sloan, Perry. "Bar Harbor Airlines". AirTimes. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "Delta/N East". Airchive.com. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "Northeast Express Regional Airlines". AirTimes. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- Sloan, Perry. "Air Vermont". AirTimes. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "People Express". AirChive.com. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "Ransome Airlines Route Map Circa June 1, 1985". DepartedFlights.com. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Sloan, Chris. "1985 - October 31". Airchive.com. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- "USAir Route Map July 1, 1986". DepartedFlights.com. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Sloan, Chris. "1987 - February 1". Airchive.com. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- Sloan, Perry. "Business Express/Atlantic Air Routemaps and Timetables". AirTimes. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "YHZ89intro". Official Airline Guide Flight Schedules. DepartedFlights.com. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "Official Airline Guide Flight Schedules Portland, Maine 1989". DepartedFlights.com. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "Northwest Airlines to Begin Service to Portland, Maine; Three Daily Flights Between Detroit and Portland Start June 2". Northwest Airlines. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- Sloan, Chris. "1998 - April 13". Airchive.com. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- Sloan, Chris. "2000 - December 20". Airchive.com. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- "Nova Scotia-based Businesses Partner to Entice New England Group Meetings to Province.". Air Canada. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
- "Independence Air to Begin Service to Portland Tomorrow". Independence Air. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- "JetBlue Gives Four Maine Reasons to Fly to Portland: Four Daily Flights From New York's JFK Begin May 23". JetBlue Corporate Communications. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- "Jetblue To Start Service To PWM Portland Maine". Airliners.net. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- Murphy, Edward D. (February 27, 2007). "AirTran to Offer Service At Jetport". Portland Press Herald.
- "Starlink Aviation celebrating new Yarmouth air service with ceremony at Halifax airport Tuesday". The Yarmouth County Vanguard. May 11, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- "Starlink Aviation suspends air service in and out of Yarmouth airport as of Tuesday, Dec. 1". The Yarmouth County Vanguard. November 26, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- Air Service between Portland and Nova Scotia Resumes
- http://aircanada.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=153 Air Canada expands service to seven more American cities
- Billings, Randy (April 1, 2010). "Fundraising for South Portland air crash memorial faces June deadline". The Forecaster. Retrieved July 12, 2010. "It happened at 4:45 p.m. on July 11, 1944."
- Cornish, Caroline (July 11, 2010). "Long Creek Air Tragedy Memorial is Dedicated". WCSH. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
- Billings, Randy (July 1, 2010). "South Portland Air Crash Memorial Takes Shape, Dedication Planned for July 11". The Forecaster. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- "NTSB Identification: ERA10FA364". Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Two confirmed dead in South Portland Plane Crash". Portland Press Herald. July 17, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
- The Associated Press. "Small-plane crash in South Portland kills 2". Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Two Killed in South Portland Plane Crash". WCSH. July 17, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
- Hench, David (July 18, 2010). "Plane Crashes in South Portland". Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
- Hench, David; Hoey, Dennis (July 20, 2010). "NTSB: Plane Propeller Had Quit Turning Before Crash". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
- Billings, Randy (July 20, 2010). "Pilot Prepped for Forced Landing in Fatal South Portland Plane Crash". The Forecaster. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
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- Portland International Jetport, official site
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for PWM, effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: